Another new poll has a worrying series of numbers for President Joe Biden, with a majority of Americans saying the country is on the right track.
When asked whether things in the US are moving in the right direction or if they’ve gone off track, 32% said the right way and 68% said the wrong way in Monday’s Morning Consult poll.
The number is a disturbing sign for Democrats heading into November’s midterm elections to retain control of the House and Senate.
Poll after poll has shown that Americans are frustrated with high food, gas and rent prices and blame the government. Gas averaged $4,325 on Monday, according to AAA.
In comments to the National League of Cities on Monday, Biden blamed the coronavirus pandemic and Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine for high inflation.
“Let’s be absolutely clear why prices are high now for two reasons. One was COVID – the way the global economy works,” he said.
“A second big reason for inflation is Vladimir Putin,” he noted. “Make no mistake – the current rising gas prices are largely Vladimir Putin’s fault.”
Another new poll has a disturbing series of numbers for President Joe Biden, with a majority of Americans saying the country is on the right track
Biden and his White House have long argued that inflation — making it more difficult for Americans to afford necessities like food, gas and rent — will be temporary and will subside by the end of the year as the world recovers from the global pandemic.
But Americans don’t seem convinced by that argument.
A Wall Street Journal poll released last week had tough numbers for the president, with voters strongly disapproving of his handling of the economy and inflation.
A majority of voters, 63%, said they disapproved of Biden’s handling of the high costs they faced, and only 34% approved. It was his worst assessment of the six policy issues in the poll.
And Biden’s overall approval rating was 42% compared to the 57% who disapproved of his presidency. But on one bright spot, a majority of voters approved his approach to the situation with Russia.
However, 47% of voters said Republicans were better able to handle inflation, but only 30% said Democrats.
And, in a troubling sign for Democrats’ prospects in the November midterm elections, which will determine control of Congress, most voters — 45% — said Republicans had a better plan for improving the economy by comparison. with 37% saying so of Democrats.
The poll found that 46% said they would vote for a Republican candidate in November, compared to 41% who would vote for a Democrat.
The Wall Street Journal survey surveyed 1,500 respondents with a margin of error of plus or minus 2.5 percentage points.
The White House has tried to blame Russian President Vladimir Putin and his invasion of Ukraine for the record high inflation hitting the country.
On Thursday, the consumer price index hit another 40-year high of 7.9 percent in February in what Biden called “Putin’s price hike.”
Inflation in the United States hit a new 40-year high of 7.9% in February, another grim signal for consumers
In a CNBC interview last week, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen argued that the Federal Reserve would work to reverse high inflation if the numbers continued to climb.
“They have indicated that they intend to take measures to curb inflation, and I am confident in their ability to make a meaningful difference in the future,” she said.
For more than a year, inflation has far exceeded the Fed’s annual target of 2 percent. The US central bank is expected to begin raising interest rates next Wednesday to stamp out inflation, with economists projecting as many as seven rate hikes this year.
However, the Fed faces a delicate challenge: if it tightens lending too aggressively this year, it risks undermining the economy and perhaps triggering a recession.
Yellen also said that inflation will hit another record high next month, and said the economic sanctions imposed on Putin, his inner circle and Russian companies would have an effect in their own country.
“My guess is that next month we will see more evidence of an impact on us. Inflation from Putin’s war on Ukraine,” she noted.
“We designed these sanctions to have the maximum impact on Russia while mitigating the impact on everyone else, including the United States. But it’s unrealistic to think we can take actions of this magnitude without feeling any consequences ourselves,” Yellen said.
Inflation is likely to climb even higher next month, as the impact of rising fuel prices is taken into account.
The Labor Department said Thursday that the consumer price index rose 0.8 percent in February from the previous month, up 7.9 percent from a year ago.
It is the largest annual increase since June 1982. Excluding volatile food and energy, prices rose 6.4 percent, the largest change in twelve months since the period ending August 1982.
The latest data shows that the price of basic necessities is rising sharply, with groceries 8.6 percent more than a year ago, shelter by 4.7 percent, clothing by 6.6 percent and energy by 25.6 percent.
Most of the inflationary effects of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine were not included in the February consumer price index, which does not reflect the impact of oil and commodity prices shooting up in early March.